by Melanie Sheehan
The Fordham Undergraduate Research Journal proudly released its fifth installment at the Eighth Annual Undergraduate Research Symposium, which took place in the McGinley Center on Wednesday, April 15.
This year’s journal offers a wide array of research topics from various fields, from GSB senior Sanjay Pothula’s economic exploration of how Major League Baseball teams evaluate free agents to FCRH graduate Caitlin Ramiro’s discussion of the juxtaposition between Mary Magdalene as a prostitute—a claim, Ramiro argues, is neither historically nor Biblically accurate—and the Virgin Mary as perpetually pure.
Ramiro’s article further inspired the cover photo of FURJ, which features a statue of the Pieta, a symbol of the veneration of the Virgin Mary which Ramiro argues has contributed to current notions of female sexuality and sexual morality.
“I am shocked and honored,” Ramiro said of the cover. “I feel incredibly grateful.”
Of particular interest as well is John Caruso III’s photo essay “The Greatest Generation: A Case Study,” which includes pictures and letters Caruso discovered; these images allow Caruso to explore the change and continuity in his grandfather’s life during his service in World War II.
“The range and breadth of students’ research is a real testament to the impact of our liberal arts educations at Fordham,” Megan McLaughlin, the journal’s editor in chief, said. Indeed, encompassing articles from the natural sciences, the social sciences, and the humanities, the Journal offers a glimpse into the diverse research taking place at Fordham.
Although FURJ was released and distributed during the Research Symposium, copies are located in the Dean’s Office. Students and faculty are encouraged to pick up the latest installment at their convenience.
Of course, the release of FURJ was just one part of the Research Symposium, which included over thirty oral presentations and over one hundred poster presentations from a wide range of fields. These projects have been completed by Fordham students under faculty guidance.
Among presenters was FCRH sophomore Kas Sadaniantz, who worked with fellow students Sam Davey, Dominic Fogarasi, and Patrick Jeneczko on a project entitled “Gene Therapy.” The project explored the possibility of replacing defective genes with corrected ones as a means to treat genetic disorders. For Sadaniantz, the experience of presenting research was certainly a positive one worth repeating.
“At the Research Symposium, Fr. McShane called everyone present ‘odd’ because we were talking about science for two hours instead of enjoying the sun on Eddie’s,” Sadaniantz said. “I participated because of a genetics lab requirement but hope to have the opportunity to present research of my own here in the upcoming years and officially become one of those ‘odd’ scientists.”